I wanted to give KK something special for his Comrades race, something meaningful. But he’s not the soft, fluffy teddy emotional kinda guy. A rather introverted engineer, he’s not into deep quotes. He’d rather watch cat videos on YouTube than a motivational TED video and Hallmark cards aren’t his thing.
His face went blank when I even suggested that we watch Chariots of Fire together the week before Comrades, so I really was torn as to how I showed him my support & that he knew I understood the significance of his race and what it meant to him.
I knew he wanted his back to back Comrades medal more than anything. This is a medal only given out to those who run the Up run and return the next year to run the Down run (or vice versa). It wasn’t even about beating his previous time. All he spoke about was these two medals and ensuring he finished in time because this would be his only opportunity to get it.
So the night before the race, I packed two coins into a tiny plastic bag which I gave to him to run with. The two coins symbolized his two medals and I told him that each & every time he felt like quitting or when it got tough out there along the route, that he should reach into his running belt and feel the two coins. Feel and envisage what he was running for.
KK finished his race and got his medals! He didn’t say whether or not the coins helped but I did notice that he never threw them aside. When we packed up to go home, I caught a glimpse of the coins, still in the packet, tucked away neatly with the rest of his running kit. That said it all…